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Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system that discharges to local waterbodies. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies. The City is mandated to annually report to the Florida Department of Environment Protection on stormwater protection, treatment, and water quality.
Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off, are carried through the storm sewer system, and pollute the waterbodies. Yard clippings (grass, brush, etc.) and leaves can wash into storm drains and can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life. Be sure to cover piles of dirt or mulch being used in landscaping projects. Do not over fertilize or use pesticides during a forecasted rain event. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local waterbodies
Washing your car on an impervious surface (i.e. concrete and asphalt) can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. Use a commercial car wash as their water is drained to a waste water treatment facility, or wash your car on your yard so the water infiltrates into the ground.
The chemicals in chlorinated and saltwater pools can kill fish and pollute the water. Drain treated pool water onto a grassy or planted area where the water can be absorbed by the soil. Dechlorinate the water. Any pool care company can test and neutralize the pool water.
Dirt, oil, and debris that collect in parking lots and paved areas can be washed into the storm sewer system and enter local waterbodies. Sweep up litter and debris from sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, especially around storm drains. Cover grease storage and dumpsters and keep them clean to avoid leaks. Do not wash off floors or decks, kitchen equipment, or dump mop buckets or other chemicals onto paved surfaces as this contaminated water is washed into the storm sewer system and enters local waterbodies
An illicit discharge is the discharge of pollutants or non-storm water materials into a storm sewer system via overland flow, direct dumping, or illicit connections. There are exceptions, such as water used for firefighting. City of St. Pete Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 106, provides for definition of illicit discharges and fee structure for fines up to $500.
Contact City of St. Pete Beach Code Enforcement at 727-363-9211. You may also call Pinellas County’s Watershed Management automated stormwater watchline at 727-464-5060.
Information can be found at the following websites: